Thursday 9 July 2015

7/7 Remembered

As you will all know Tuesday saw the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the London transport network. Three Tube trains and a bus were blown up, resulting in over 50 deaths, hundreds injured and many more lives altered forever. As someone who has known the Underground system all my life, and has driven buses in London I was obvously deeply moved by the events that day.

Thanks to the fiasco last week resulting in the re-arrangement of my hospital appointment I happened to be passing through London on Tuesday. I deliberately travelled on the Circle Line between Liverpool St and Aldgate, passing through the tunnel where the first bomb went off. I am grateful to the staff and Transport Police at Liverpool St for allowing me to take a pic of the tunnel. I don't know how many times I have travelled through that tunnel in my life but it is hundreds. There but for the grace of God...

The tunnel at the east end of Liverpool St
Taken as we passed where the first train was bombed
It was somewhat apt that no one else on the train appeared to realise the significance of where we were or what had happened 10 years and 110 mins prevously. Life will go on regardless of what others may do to try and disrupt or ruin it. I carried on to Victoria where I stayed until 1130 and the minute's silence. I stood next to two Transport Police Officers on the balcony at Wetherspoons which gave the perfect view of the station clock surrounded by Union Jacks.

Victoria Station at 1130 7/7/15
After returning from my appointment I jumped on a 73 to Marble Arch where it was my intention to ride a number 30 to the place where 10 years ago an ALX400 on the route was blown up. Unfortunately, though, there was a huge gap in the service in the 30's with no buses for over 45 mins, so that plan had to be aborted. However, I did get a picture of one of Tower Transit's E400's now operating the service.

Tower Transit E400 DN33633 on the 30 to Hackney Wick

Many of us have been involved in public transport all our lives. Many of us use public transport every day and it is easy to take our safety as granted. On that day ten years ago everything was normal until 0839 when normality was literally blown off the rails. It is testament to the determination of the British people that normality returned quickly, and ten years on it was as though nothing had ever happened. The trains were running, the buses were moving, people were hurriedly going about their business. Tourists were there in their thousands, taking pics of landmarks, pigeons, even buses! The traffic was awful and cyclists were still jumping red lights. It was a normal day in London.

But for a few minutes we remembered those, both living and dead, whose perception of public transport was changed irrevocably on 7th July 2005. It could have been anyone of us, and for that reason we should and can never forget.

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